Tuesday, August 30, 2011

mirror mirror

I weighed and measured today. Up 3 pounds from last week. This is not fat or muscle gain, just bloat. Fluctuation in weight 3-5lbs is normal for me. But I had an impeccable diet last week and worked out so freakin' hard. So the fact that my measurements were still the same bothers me a little. I should be seeing some sort of measurable improvement, shouldn't I? I know sometimes you can experience lulls. And I know that it can take your body time to adjust. But come on....seriously. Seriously?

(uh oh....here we go....)

I honestly don't know what more I can do. I torture myself with grueling workouts, day in and day out. I eat clean and healthy almost ALL the time. I deprive myself of things I would love to eat but don't simply because of either high calorie content, or because it's unhealthy and I don't want to waste all the effort sweat and tears I put into my workouts. I keep track of what I eat. I take supplements. I sneak in extra activity whenever I can. I am borderline psychotic when it comes to this stuff. Obsessed, if you will. YET.....


I need to hire a trainer, or a coach or something. I need to know what they do in situations like this. But won't. Because I'm certain that they wouldn't give me any new information that I haven't already read or tried. So I'll just keep going, doing what I'm doing. I know that if I continue to do the right things, eventually I will see something.

My mom wanted to take me out to lunch yesterday. I shot her down. I feel bad for always saying "not today" because I don't want to be tempted with food I wouldn't have eaten if I just stayed home. But I gave her a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to. I told her that once November rolls around, I will eat more and I could not believe the response I got.

She was SO happy to hear me say that. I don't know what it is with my mom and husband, but they insist that I am too skinny and that I need to gain weight. Last night, Andreas told me he wished I would gain 15 pounds of fat. I didn't say anything. But later I asked him, "Do you really think I need to gain 15 pounds of fat?" ....he said, "ok, how about 5lbs of fat" and I said, "Do you know what 5 pounds of fat looks like? That's 20 sticks of butter!" Gross! I need that stuck to my ass like I need a hole in the head!

So I said I wouldn't mind gaining 5 pounds of muscle. Even 10 pounds of muscle. It's dense, more compact. That way I wouldn't jiggle or look bigger. And he still insisted I gain fat. What? Has he gone mad? I'm not unhealthy. I'm not emaciated. Fitness models have lower body fat than I do and they look great. So what gives?

I love the fact that he thinks I'm thin. I would much rather have a husband that wants to feed me cookies instead of hide them from me. And I know he thinks I'm sexy. I just don't understand all of the "you're too thin" talk, because I just don't think that I am. And frankly, it's starting to irritate me a little. Is there anyone in this universe on my side?? Is my mirror lying to me??

Monday, August 29, 2011


I was in a weird mood last night. Maybe I was deliriously tired after the wonderful day I had with my family. Although that makes no sense because it was a relaxing day. But sometimes being outdoors all day getting fresh air can make me tired. Anyway, I was in need of some self motivation so I yelled at myself online. I do that from time to time. I have to be my own drill Sergeant because no one else will do it for me. My husband won't. He's desperately trying to fatten me up. "Have some ice cream! Have some french fries! Eat some candy!" And he'll actually get giddy and happy when I eat something I would consider naughty or forbidden. I don't get it.

All that nonsense aside, I found something at the store the other day that I thought I would share with you. It really got me excited. I practically jumped up and down when I saw it in the store and my teenage daughter was very embarrassed. It's called the NOoodle and it's a zero calorie, zero carb noodle alternative. There are zeros up and down the nutrition facts. I took a picture, of course.

Why it shows up sideways here, I don't know, but if you are flexible enough, you can see the nutrition facts and ingredients.

I made spaghetti last week so I could try them out. I opened the package to drain them and it smelled fishy. It wasn't a pleasant smell. But I rinsed them off and set them to drain, still having high hopes that this was going to be the best thing to happen to a pasta lovin' girl like myself.

When it came down to eating it, I wasn't impressed. The noodles are soft, yet they have a sort of weird pop to them when you chew them. It's like eating caviar. You know how the eggs seem to pop when you chew them? Except I like caviar and I don't mind the pop in that case. With these noodles, however, it just didn't seem right. I ate my plate of spaghetti with NOoodles and was undecided. They don't really have a taste, so it's not that they tasted bad. I decided to try another small helping.

The verdict? I do not like them. I just couldn't get past the strange texture; that popping feeling while I chewed them was unsettling. Hopes crushed. Dreams vanished. Oh well, I'll just go back to eating spaghetti squash.

I get so excited when find alternatives to calorie dense food that I like. Most of the time I am very open to the alternative, I give it a good chance. And most of the time I say that it's pretty good, considering. But this time, I just can't go there.

I still have one more bag in the cupboard. Maybe I'll try it with a pesto sauce next time. Or bake it into a casserole, maybe? Who knows.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm my own drill seargant

We went to get Emma's hair cut last week and while we were there I couldn't keep my eyes off of this woman. I felt a little like a creeper, stealing glances at her, trying not to obviously ogle her. But she was amazing. Not in the usual way that the women that work in hair salons are amazing. You know, all done up with perfect hair and perfect make up and perfect clothes. Don't get me wrong, this woman had all those things, but that isn't what made me stare. It was her arms.

She had the most amazing muscular arms I think I've ever seen (in person) on a woman. The muscle was so visible, even though she wasn't flexing. And then, of course, she had the most perfect round lifted butt and tight legs to match those gorgeous arms. She obviously worked out hard with weights, knew what she was doing, ate the right foods, etc. I wanted to be her. Eden thought I was so weird. "why do you keep looking at her?" she said. "Look at her arms!!" I said. I told my husband about her. He just nodded. Didn't say a word. It doesn't interest him in the least. But I don't care. That's gonna be me some day.

I don't want to be the average girl. I'm so sick of being average. I want to WOW people the way she WOWed me. I want to be admired. I want to be beautiful. Is that so wrong, so shallow, so vain? Well, if it is, I don't care. That is what I want. And I'm not going to get there dieting am I? I'm not going to get there running. I'm not going to get there doing cardio videos. I'm not going to get there doing yoga. I'm going to get there lifting weights. My poor neglected bench :( November can NOT come fast enough!

Ok, focus. Stay with it. Concentrate on today. It's all about fat loss. Burn it, baby, burn it! Think millions of jump squats, lunge jumps, dog burps, mountain climbers, woodchoppers, bucket drops, stingers, butt kicks, high knees, push ups and pull ups, hill sprints.......all those wonderful things that make you sweat like a whore in church! Then again. And again. And again!! Don't stop 'til you drop! You love it! (no, I really don't) Staying in shape is a pain in the ass! I don't workout because it's like so much fun and I could just do it all day - I workout because unless I want to be fluffy and frumpy, it's what I have to do. I do it because I want to be fit.

And when November is here, and you've been a good girl and done your fair effing share of stupid damn cardio, it's back to doin' the ONLY thing that's gonna get you that admirable body. Weighlifting. Only this time, I'm gonna eat to back it up ;)

p.s. Amanda - my maintenance level calories is around 2000 so I figure if I bump it up to 2300 while lifting, I'll be able to gain muscle without much fat [or at least, that is the goal]. I think I read somewhere to add between 300 and 500 calories.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bring it

So it's the weekend. Generally, a time full of temptations and eventually slip ups. Well, with the motivation I've got going, all I have to say is "BRING IT!!!"

Nothing can stop me now.

I'm on a roll. And it reminds me of the way I felt earlier this year, when I had a really successful 2 months. I finally worked my way out of the plateau I was in and saw some measurable results. I haven't made much progress since then, but I haven't been as strict with my diet either.

But I'm in the zone. Don't want to break it now.

I've got until the end of October to go as hardcore as I can, trying to shave off any extra fat before I start lifting again. And eating! That will be nice! Bumping my calories up to about 2300 a day.....yes! But that's way into the future and I don't want to think about it right now. Just focus on today.

My workouts have been INTENSE. I am pushing harder than ever. Sweating gallons. And recovering well with BCAAs and post workout nutrition (both Prograde at the moment). That's very important when you work out hard. I am not going to waste all that effort!

Still keeping my workouts between 30 and 40 minutes. No need to go longer. You don't do your body any good working out longer than an hour anyway. At that point, you start going backwards. Your cortisol levels go up and the higher energy requirements will force your body to break down muscle. I also make sure I provide my muscles with the right nutrients, pre and post workout, so I will use fat as fuel and spare my hard earned muscle. Lack of proper diet, and excessive working out will make any training futile. That reminds me of my stupid self back when I lifted so heavy thinking I was going to build muscle, yet trying to eat low amounts of calories like a dieter. Got me nowhere.

Get in, work hard, get out!

Friday, August 26, 2011

donut run

This week has been one success after another. My diet has been "off the huzzum!" - to quote my children. My fitness has been the same. Everything just feels right.

There are donuts in the house and I don't even WANT to eat them! Gotta love motivation and willpower like that! No really, I gotta love it while I can because it certainly isn't always that easy.

There they are. Bear claws. You can see the grease stains and remnants of sprinkles from the eaten donuts. I promised my family that I would go to the store to buy them donuts as a first day of school celebration treat. And to bribe them to walk with me. Sad, right?

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but have you ever heard of a donut run? I think they are slightly different depending on the event but basically you run and eat donuts. I watched a hilarious youtube video where they ran 2 miles, ate 12 donuts, then ran 2 more miles. How crazy is that? Another event was a 5k. You run it, then you eat as many donuts as you can. For each donut eaten, time is subtracted from your final running time. Funny, huh?

Maybe in my younger and crazier days, I would have taken part in such a thing. Back when I didn't care about calories. Although back then, I probably couldn't even run a mile. But I'm pretty sure I could eat a dozen donuts though. Especially if they are Krispy Kreme because they are so airy they just melt in your mouth. We used to have a Krispy Kreme in town. Just breathing the air in that place added 500 calories to your daily intake.

Anyway, watch this video http://youtu.be/dv20mFFc-NE but not if you are sensitive to the f-word. They drop a couple bombs in the video.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life is great!

My body has been screaming the last couple of days. I've been torturing it with morning plyometric circuits and night runs. On top of that, I've been eating super healthy (which is not torture, by any means) and taking ALL my supplements like a good girl.

I think that my supplements are really helping to detoxify me because....well, I don't want to explain it. Just trust me. Here's what I'm taking:

Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Yellow Dock trio
Curcumin complex
EFA icon (krill oil)
Grapeseed extract
Gotu Kola
Glucosamine Sulfate
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin C

It averages to be about 4 pills to swallow 5 times a day (with each meal) and I can handle it. They are mostly for circulation, detoxification, joint health, and yadda yadda...

I've stopped taking CLA. I guess I just got sick of not getting anything out of it. It made me nauseous too, even if only for 5 minutes, it was enough to hate taking it.

And I'm taking my BCAAs before every grueling workout and my recovery drink after. I think that it helps with soreness but it doesn't completely take it away. Especially not when you workout as hard as I do ;)

Anyway, things are going good. I'm in the "skinny" part of my cycle and I love it. I love when I can slide into any pair of jeans and feel hot. I love having all this energy. I love having motivation. Life is great!

Monday, August 22, 2011

not much

Tonight we had "meet the teacher night" at our elementary school. Hanna had her first volleyball practice of the season. And soon we will leave for the airport to pick up my beloved husband and youngest daughter. I will be relieved when they are safe and sound here with me.

I know I haven't posted much lately but there hasn't been much worth posting on a fitness/health/diet level. The weekend led to some overeating of junk food (as usual) which always leads to new motivation Monday morning to get back in the game. That's one good thing I guess. I went grocery shopping for the week and didn't buy one single thing that was bad. Yay! My diet was right on track today. I've been religiously taking all of my supplements. Did I mention I have more/new supplements that I am trying out? I'll elaborate on that another day.

All in all, things are well. I don't think I will jog tonight since my family will be together again for the first time in two weeks. But that's ok because I rocked my morning workout and kept my calories to 300 per meal (I eat 5 "meals" per day).

I've got a couple months to go on this "fat loss" phase, although there isn't much fat loss going on. But I feel really fit and healthy and I love that.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So I took G-ma and my girls out for dinner tonight. We went to Perkins. I haven't had an omelet in a while, so I ate a ham & cheese omelet, hashbrowns and 2 pancakes. I knew that eating the hashbrowns and pancakes was a splurge. But I had NO idea how much this meal would set me back in calories.

I have been tracking my calories daily on Livestrong.com. This meal that I ate exceeded my total calorie limit for the day. IN ONE MEAL!! My goal is about 1266 a day. My meal was 1242 calories plus more for syrup, although I didn't use much, it was still a lot of extra calories. And now I feel sick. Not because of how much I ate, but because the calorie content was so high.....and I had NO idea. Now that I am tracking daily, it's been a real eye opener. We are eating tons of calories and don't even realize it.

We don't eat out a lot, but when we do, we are probably clueless as to how much we are really consuming. I love to eat at Perkins but I can honestly say that I NEVER want to eat there again knowing what I know now. I was curious and looked at other menu items. It's mind boggling. I'll be cooking at home from now on, thanks.

No wonder my progress was stalled in the past. Things like that add up and erase all the hard work and effort I put into exercise. NO MORE! Tracking calories online will probably be key to my success from now on. I don't want to be blissfully unaware of how many calories I am eating every day anymore! It's good to know and take the necessary actions to control it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I have discovered.....

...that I like to run in the dark. Not pitch black dark, but the dusk dark around 8:45 - 9:00pm. And while wearing something brightly florescent. Don't you love how all these bright greens and pinks and yellows and oranges that we wore in 80's are coming back???? Not that I am a fan of the 80's or anything, I just remember really REALLY liking fluorescent colors. I had a bright green and black sort of windbreaker type hoodie thingy that I practically lived in.

Anyway, running at this hour, wearing fluorescent green, like I did tonight, makes it seem like I am glowing. I suppose it gets a big plus on the side of safety as well. All I know is I think I need more fluorescent shirts.

Looking at MyPlate on Livestrong.com, I have really been on track this week. It is helping IMMENSLY that I can track what I'm eating on this program. It's so easy and it tells me everything I need to know. The interface is very user friendly and I think that is a big winner in my book. So anyway, they've got me at 1266 calories per day to lose 1 pound a week and in the last 6 days, I've been under that amount every day except one. The one day I went over I was at 1500-something calories and that was the day Emma and Andreas left for Sweden. I was feeling anxious and sad and fed those feelings with pizza and a giant cinnamon roll. My mouth watered just typing that sentence.

Anyway, if it is correct, I should have a pound gone by Monday. I've simplified things a bit and so far it has been working VERY well. In the past, I have tried too hard to be too meticulous about things and then get frustrated when life gets in the way and I can't adhere to the strictness of my plan 100% of the time. Now, I'm simply using the law of physics. Calories in versus calories out. Simple as that. I mean, why get over complicated with macro nutrients, eat carbs, don't eat carbs, when to eat carbs, protein at every single meal, this many servings of this and that per day, eat a particular food with another food at a specific time and blah blah blah. TOO MUCH! No wonder I can't ever stick to it, it's like a full time job figuring all that crap out all the time. It was consuming me.

So now, I am just trying not to go over my calorie limit each day of 1266. And I'm not being super picky about what I eat. For instance, I had pizza last night. But I still had 900 or so calories that I could consume by dinner time and so I looked up nutrition facts for the type of pizza I was ordering and knew that I could have 3 slices and be within range. Simple. And I'm not depriving myself so I don't find myself wanting to graze, even though I'm on a lower calorie menu than usual. Like I said, it's really working out well.

Here is a GREAT article on the physics of "calories in vs. calories out".

Friday, August 12, 2011

happy days are here again

I mapped some new running routes I want to try on livestrong.com (loops). I have really enjoyed being outside getting exercise vs. inside in my basement. I have toyed around with the idea of repainting the walls in my workout room so that it is brighter and more pleasant. Maybe setting up my old school cd player with the big speakers so I can really blast the body moving tunes. My little iHome just doesn't cut it sound-wise.

I might try doing two colors. I have been searching around online a little for some ideas. I don't want anything too bold. I want it to feel serene, yet energizing.

I also like the idea of one mirrored wall. Sometimes it can be helpful when you are squatting, for instance, to check out your form. I have been known to grab the 3/4 length mirror from the wall and bring it downstairs with me because I work harder when I can see myself and see myself do the exercises the right way. I wouldn't need it for running on the treadmill, that would just be weird. And maybe a tad narcissistic.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a lot of top of the line equipment and a fancy looking room but as Zuzana from BodyRockTv says, you don't need expensive stuff to get in shape. Look at this chick, she has an amazing figure. And if you watch the video, she shows you her modest home gym, including her garage sale bench. My treadmill and my bench together probably cost about $500 - which is pretty frugal I think.

Yesterday morning before breakfast, the girls biked along with me as I ran. I went 5 miles. It felt so good! It's almost scaring me how much I have been enjoying running. It will be sad when the weather is frigid and I don't want to run outside anymore. Lord knows I can't motivate myself to run on the treadmill for more than 30 minutes. But it should end up working out for the best because by that time, I will need to make the switch to lifting weights anyway.

I've been tracking my calories online and yesterday I was way under my daily goal. In fact, I came in under 1000 which is very abnormal for me. I wish I could do that every day! It helped that all I had in the morning was a chocolate protein shake with spinach. Then around 1:00 I had a small pita sandwich. At 4:00 I had a protein bar and then for supper at 6:00 I had two eggs and some oatmeal and a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Motivation is high and I'm feeling like there are more good days to come!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things that make you go hmmmmm

Did intervals this morning. Ran about 5 miles tonight. Diet was mostly good. I lost a lot of lunch companions because I had sardines. No one in this house likes the smell of sardines. Had pizza for supper but was able to stop myself before I got full - this is HUGE for me. I'm a chronic over eater when it comes to stuff like pizza.

I've started tracking my meals and workouts on Livestrong.com. And when I get my new Windows phone next month, I'll be able to track and make updates through the phone. Totally wicked! I love having a program auto-calculate my calorie totals, calories burned through exercise and etc. It's just cool.

I was standing in front of my mirror today when a thought hit me. Could my problem be sagging skin? I mean, I'm not fat by any means so exercising to lose fat seems so preposterous. At least, it seems to sound preposterous to everyone else because the mere fact that I mention wanting to lose fat causes an uproar with most people. Mainly everyone just thinks I must have some sort of disorder because why would anyone my size declare that they wanted to lose fat.

And something struck me - Andreas has been commenting a lot more lately on how "skinny" I am looking and how he wishes I would gain some weight. When I told him that I ate two granola bars back to back the other night because I was hungry and they were so tasty, he said "Good! You need to eat more....gain some weight." While I think a lot of girls might twirl around in delight at a comment such as that (and I probably would have a while back) it just made me go, hmmmmm.

If I really don't have fat to spare, maybe it's the skin sagging where there used to be fat, and that is what is causing my dilemma. And if that is the case, perhaps bulking up a bit (by eating more calories and lifting weights to put on muscle) might actually help it. True, I think that might work, but I still can't help but think there is more fat to be lost on these thighs. The only question is, as tough as is has been to lose it, is it worth it? And who's to say that if I lost it, I'd be happy? I might just have more sagging skin that accentuates the problem. And if I lose it, can I maintain it? I wish I knew. If I knew the cause, I'd know the treatment.

I've been steered towards a lot of blogs and articles that talk about losing the "last 5 pounds" and such. All of them suggest doing the things I am already implementing in my exercise routine. But another thing they all say is that if it continues to be really difficult, one should reevaluate the situation. Is it realistic? Is it really necessary? This has also been making me think (hmmmmm) a lot. I have reevaluated my situation and I have taken into consideration all the comments I get from family and friends. And my honest answer is....I don't know. I don't know if it is realistic, I don't know if it's necessary. I wish I could see into a future where I've lost 5 pounds of fat and could see whether or not it helps with my overall goal. And if it didn't, I could look into a future where I have gained 5 - 10 pounds of muscle and see it that helps instead. The uncertainty kills me! I don't want to waste time doing things the wrong way or doing things that ultimately weren't going to work even if I perfected them. I just wish I knew....

I'm still going to stick out the "fat loss phase" of my plan - which will end roughly the end of October. Then I'll start adding good calories and pumping some serious iron again. Maybe when I can fill out the muscle in my legs, the skin will get taught(er) and that might just be what it needs to look it's best.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's no fun being health conscious....or is it?

This weekend, I was reminded how nice it is to be mindful of what and how much I eat.
Being miserable for hours because you ate unhealthy food that just makes you feel sluggish, lazy and full totally isn't worth the short amount of bliss you get while eating it.

Do you believe that the pleasure you get from food is better than the pleasure you get from being in shape? I don't think so.

Here's an interesting tidbit for you:
Experts today recommend a diet full of whole grains but it didn't work so well for the Egyptians. Many had heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity - the same problems we face today - which is attributed to their low fat, high carbohydrate diet. And not even refined carbs, the primary staple was a coarse bread made of stone-ground, whole wheat. 
I go back and forth with the low carb thing. I really don't enjoy it but I know based on all the research I do about fat loss and health that we really do better when we limit them. Going low carb is hard, especially in this day and age where we are so busy and rushed and carbs are the simplest easiest way to feed ourselves. But it's worth the effort to try to back off from that habit.

Limiting the amount of carbs I eat is an ongoing struggle. I am trying to etch a path into my daily routine where I am mostly dependant on vegetables for most of my carbs and fiber, instead of the starchier choices. It is one of those habits that is taking a long time to take hold. Baby steps though, remember? I am trying. And one of these days, it will be like all the other good habits that I have formed.

Tomorrow starts a new week. And I hope I do just as good as I did last week! After these last two weekend days, I'm thinking I won't see much improvement on my measurements. That seems to be the way it goes for me. Monday through Friday I can be almost robotic in how strict I am with my diet. But Saturday and Sunday are always more relaxed. And that's ok, I guess. I'm still keeping my heart healthy by working out and eating healthy most of the time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's friday, friday....

I was tired last night. I had been decorating our driveway with sidewalk chalk (at the request of my daughters) and creating all that beauty (haha) made me sleepy. I just laid on my back on the driveway, listening to my girls chatter and watching the clouds. My back cracked, it felt good. Then all of a sudden I thought, I should just go for a jog. I asked Eden, my 8 year old, if she wanted to tag along on her scooter. Surprisingly she said yes. So we headed out.

It seemed a lot more humid than I remember it being earlier in the day. And I think I made the wrong choice in wearing capris and a t-shirt instead of shorts and a tank. I was so hot. A little afraid that I was going to overheat, actually. But I didn't, and it felt so good to see the home stretch. I could feel Eden beside me, speeding up to get to the garage first and from out of nowhere I pushed through my exhaustion and sprinted towards the house. I don't care much for competition, but for some reason, I wanted to get there first.

Eden did awesome. She didn't complain once. At one point, she thought we were going to turn around and go back and when I said we would keep going I thought she would protest, but she didn't. I am feeling a little sore today. Some of it is from my circuit yesterday (I did awesome, got in 20 pull ups!) but also because I'm not used to all this running. My knees and hips are feeling it. Every day this week so far I have gone out for a jog in the evening, in addition to working out in the morning, and eating much less than I could. Really want some positive changes by Monday!

The one drawback to adding more cardio is the fact that I seem to be really starving at night. Last night I had to have something before bed because I was so hungry I couldn't sleep! I ended up just having a protein bar. I could have eaten more. A lot more!

I made the family Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner last night. I can honestly say I have never made it before. Do you know why? Because it calls for an entire stick of butter and 1 whole pint of heavy cream for the sauce. That's a LOT of fat. And a lot of calories. And then you add all the calorie dense pasta on top of that.....YIKES! I guess it was delicious (how could it not be) and everyone loved it. I had tuna lettuce wraps, which didn't smell quite as heavenly. Emma told me "You finally found something I like to eat!". I guess if I cooked more with butter and cream, I would be the mother everyone remembered for how tasty her food was. But I guess it's more important to me to be the mother they'll remember for sneaking spinach into the sauce.

I've got a fun weekend ahead of me: out with two of my nieces tonight, and two birthday parties tomorrow. This is where I need to switch my will power into high gear!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

the doctor is in

I'm still trying the "one day at a time" attitude. It's hard for me because I'm always thinking ahead. I wonder what things will be like 3 months from now or a year from now. And when I do that, I sort of lose sight of what is really important - the here and now. Because it's the things I do now that will ultimately decide what 3 months from now will be like.

So when I'm on the treadmill, staring at the wall for instance, I tend to think of things like "oh my gosh, I can't handle this. I can't believe I'm going to have to do this every day or every other day for the next 3 months. I can't handle it...." But instead, if I switch my mind to "I am doing this for my own good. I can do this for 30 minutes. I can do this for 45 minutes. It's only 3 months." If I can just think positively about what I have done today, instead of worrying about what I have to do tomorrow or the next day, I can manage. But it is hard for me.

The same works with my habits in the kitchen. Already last night I was really feeling the urge for carbs. So I gave in, why not? I didn't derail my efforts, I just allowed myself to eat them so I didn't feel deprived. Because it's the feeling of constant deprivation that will eventually get the better of me. Instead of making salmon and broccoli (which was what was on the menu) I made eggs, turkey bacon and toast. It was delicious and I got to eat sprouted grain bread, which was what I wanted. When I give my body what it wants (within reason) I feel satisfied the rest of the night and tend not to graze. Now, had I gone ahead with the salmon, I probably would have felt that terrible craving all evening until it turned into disaster.

Around 8pm, despite my daughter really not wanting me to go, I went out for a jog again. I played sidewalk chalk with her for about 15 minutes and then I left. I felt a little guilty but I promised her that I would snuggle with her when I got back. I am so glad I didn't let that guilt get the better of me. My hubs was outside painting the garage frame (shocking!) so it's not like she was alone out there. It was humid out there again, I sweat buckets, but it still felt good. I had planned on doing intervals but the thought of being in the basement, even if only for a short time, didn't thrill me as much as being outside. Today I have circuits planned for the morning and I will either run again tonight or do hill climbs. I can't have a routine too set in stone without room for options, because what I felt like doing last night, I might not want to do tonight.

I find my thoughts drifting to negative places far too often than I'd like. I'm supposed to think of something positive about myself every time I let a negative thought creep in, but it's almost as if I'm too lazy to do it. Is it that hard to think of a positive thing about myself? It is when I think of my past failed attempts at body transformation. I think of my goal for June 1st....FAIL. Then I think of my goal for August 2nd....FAIL. And lets not forget all the summers before that which I had vowed to be in shape for. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL. Every time I catch a glimpse of what I want to change about myself, every time I notice that despite trying really really hard to change, the flaws are still there. It gets me wondering if I will ever be able to change them. Am I strong enough? I used to think so. Then I question the possibility. Is it even possible? It has to be. Other people have done it. Why can't I? I'm made of the same stuff they are.

I know that time and time again, my failures are always rooted in the kitchen. I am torn between a love of food that includes high calorie wonders like full fat cheese (have I ever told you about my love affair with brie??) and breads and pastas, and my love for being lean and healthy. It's such a struggle. Exercise? I've got that part down. It's a part of my life and has been for many years now. But people tend to say "abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym". And I have to agree. If it were all about exercise, I'd have a flawless body by now. Trust me! And so, it comes down to what you put into your mouth. And not only that, but how long you do it.

I need to think of food as merely energy to get me through the day. Not something that gives me pleasure. Somehow, I need to switch this thinking. I guess I grew up in a family where all the good times seemed to be centered around food. Whenever I have good childhood memories, there was always ALWAYS lots of great tasting food involved. Big holiday dinners, big Sunday dinners, endless summer barbecues, pot luck get togethers, restaurant get togethers, you name it. It's almost as if we got together to eat, not to be with each other.

It may sound like I'm a bit down or losing motivation, but I'm not. I'm just trying to be my own psychologist I guess. Trying to find the cause of my strange love/hate relationship with food because if I can crack that code, I've got the key to my own success.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

doing ok

Still going good since Monday. I am doing really well keeping my calorie intake low. My meals are hovering around 200 - 250. I think I may be starting to feel some of the effects of low calories though. I was a tad crabby this morning. Not only am I on lower calories, but I have been adding more cardio to my days. So I've been doing either circuits or fasted intervals in the morning and steady state cardio at night. Except for this morning, I woke up with a headache so I decided to take the morning off. I'll probably do my intervals tonight to make up for it. All I have to say is, with all this extra cardio and barely eating enough to keep myself vertical, I BETTER see some sort of positive feedback from my measuring tape by next Monday!

Today, I had shredded wheat & bran with almond milk and blueberries for breakfast. I had a protein bar for lunch instead of "whole" food but it was one of the better ones with only 2g of sugar and 20g protein. And I was busy with errands and laundry so it worked into my schedule. It is nice to have them around for days like today. I also made my typical veggie concoction to drink on the side so I got my veggies in. And for afternoon snack I had Greek yogurt mixed with natural peanut butter and cocoa powder (yum!) and tomatoes.

And speaking of tomatoes, I got a baggie full of delicious cherry tomatoes from my friend, Carmen. I opened the bag up when I got home and started eating them....and couldn't stop! Home grown produce is always such a treat when you are used to store bought. Anyway, the bag is nearly empty now and my tummy is full =)

I am always in awe by this woman. (Carmen is Runnergirl...find her blog on my sidebar) Not only is she a terrific friend, but she is a phenomenal mother. She has 3 small children and still finds the energy to run miles and miles daily. Just today she was up at 4:30 and ran 7 miles. Unbelievable. Most people would say they don't have time or are just too tired. She doesn't make excuses. And she probably does more before 9am then most people do all day! I am so glad I know her because she is GREAT motivation for me. From now on, when I think I am too tired or just don't feel like getting my cardio done, I'm going to think of her. Would Carmen put it off? Hell no! She would be up at 4:00am! While I will never be able to drag my butt out of bed that early and pound the pavement (it's hard to think about working out even at 6:30 or 7:00am sometimes) I can still think of her heart and enthusiasm to inspire me to get it done, even if it's 8:00 in the evening. What a truly amazing woman.

I am happy to have someone in my life who shares my interest in staying fit. I honestly think she is the only one that doesn't try to drag me down. We all deserve to have someone like that who can motivate us and inspire us to be the best person we can be. I believe that surrounding yourself with positive, happy and energetic people really does make a difference in how you feel. I hope you are seeking out like-minded people that are inspiring you to make positive changes in your life.

Possible diet busters this week: My mother's birthday dinner at Mexican Village. Why does she have to pick one of my favorite places to gorge when I'm trying to be low calorie...lol. It's not until Saturday evening and if I allow myself one high carb day a week, that will be the perfect day to do it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sometimes I just let my thoughts wander

Got up at 7:00 today. I didn't have morning fasted cardio scheduled (yay) and for once I slept past 6:00. In fact, I slept like a baby last night. I went to bed around 10:15 and don't remember waking up at all until 7:00 this morning. Maybe it was because I ran in the evening? Maybe it's because I ate a TON of nutritious vegetables yesterday? Maybe it has nothing to do with either of those things.

Yesterday went so well. The diet diary I posted last time was all I ate except for just before I ran last night (around 8pm) I had a 45 calorie rice cake. I did awesome! It's good to be back!

Today I am set for some circuit training. I've got about 3 routines that I can't decide between so I figured I could just use all three and alternate them. Today, the one I'm using is a descending routine. The first round is 10 reps of each exercise, the next round is 9 reps, and then 8, and so on all the way down to 1. I love circuit training so much because [if you do it right] you get so sweaty and out of breath because you are working hard. And it torches calories with high impact moves like jump squats and burpees with no rest between exercises and little to no rest between each round. So it gets the job done.

When I was trying to find some good routines that I liked, I came across a lot of information on crashing the central nervous system and overtraining. I have always been cautious of overtraining. But paying attention to my CNS is not something I have ever thought about. Also, I have always known that you should take 1 or 2 days in between working the same muscle groups (and as much as 4 days when you train really hard and heavy), but I didn't realize that sometimes, the CNS might need as long to recover. That is why I am spacing my circuits out and doing some steady state cardio in between, since that has no taxing effect of the CNS. I really just want to be as efficient as I can be.

I am a believer in the fact that all the little things you do add up in the end. I have completely different habits now than I did even 6 years ago. And maybe 6 years from now, I'll be better than I am today. It's hard to change. It takes a lot of effort. It takes a lot of time. But if you start now, on the path to becoming a better you, it will happen sooner than if you put it off another minute. It's hard to be patient when we live in a world where we expect instant gratification, but when it comes to the body and the mind, we need to exercise patience with ourselves. It's not easy. But it is easier to make small changes often - they will add up to BIG results. New habits start to form, new attitudes take root, and you become who you've always known you could be. Never give up because persistence will get you there.

I am one of the most impatient people on the planet! I get that from my dad (RIP). Sometimes I need to remind myself of all that I have accomplished so far instead of dwelling on how far I still have to go. And I need to be reminded that it's been little changes that have gotten me here and will eventually get me where I want to be. It's important for me to change as a whole, the inside matters just as much as the outside, maybe more. When I am the wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister that I hope to be, the rest will just follow suit =)

When I pick apart my flaws, I am lucky to have people around me who love me enough to keep me grounded. My mom is a good one for that. She will praise me for the things I do for my kids when I am feeling like a bad mother. Or she will tell me how good I look when I am feeling like a hefer. We all need people to help lift us up from time to time. Thanks, mom....even though I know you don't read this blog. Even though most of the time, you tell me I need "more meat on my bones", sometimes, you give me just the motivation I need.

Ok, now I'm off to do my circuit and then laundry. Sounds like a fun day ahead of me, right?

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1st already

I like tasty new ways of eating old favorites. And I thought you might like to try this new spin on a daily staple to my diet, Greek yogurt.

I like to flavor up the plain, 0% fat Greek yogurt myself so I can skip out on a lot of added unnecessary sugars that come with the flavored varieties. Usually I use things like cocoa powder, stevia, fruit, instant pudding mixes, etc. Today I used stevia and cinnamon. I don't know why I haven't thought of this combo before. I love cinnamon sugar!

Today is not only the start of a new week, it is the start of a new month. August is sort of a sad month because it is a constant reminder that summer is almost over and school is just around the corner. It is when we trade in our carefree summer days for the hectic, busy school schedule. Although, our schedule is a lot quieter than most, I think. We don't let our kids join every single extra curricular activity known to man, like some parents do.

Anyway, I have refreshed my diet and said goodbye to my month-long hiatus from any sort of nutritious eating plan. I was getting tired of telling myself "I'll get back into it tomorrow....or Monday.....or next week" ... it was time now. I'm once again limiting starchy carbs. I want to stuff myself with as much vegetables as possible on a daily basis.

Today, I started off the plan great!

Morning fasted cardio
Breakfast (10:30?): 1 1/2 tall glasses veggie blend (cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper, strawberries) and 1/3 cup oats with a little almond milk
Lunch (1:00): 2 eggs, steamed cauliflower and cherry tomatoes
Snack (4:00): 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt with handful chopped walnuts, cinnamon & stevia and a veggie blend (cucumbers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes)
Dinner (will be about 5:30): we plan to eat taco salad made with extra lean ground beef and low sodium taco seasoning. I won't have the tortillas.

And that will keep my calorie total for the day pretty low. If I can manage, I want to keep my calorie intake on the low side while keeping my workouts intense so I can incinerate fat. The idea is to keep my stomach full on fresh veggies so I will drop fat quickly. The body feels full, yet in a way it is starving. I'm taking it one day at a time. Excited to see how I do by the end of the week.